What You Didn’t Know About Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-06-12 23:40Z by Steven

What You Didn’t Know About Loving v. Virginia

TIME
2016-06-10

Arica L. Coleman

The landmark civil rights Supreme Court case—which made it illegal to ban interracial marriage—was about more than black and white

When the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Loving v. the Commonwealth of Virginia, defendants Richard and Mildred Loving chose not to appear in person. In 1958, they had been convicted for the felony of miscegenation. As lawyers presented their arguments, 17 states remained steadfast in their refusal to repeal such laws banning interracial marriages. But, though he did not attend the arguments, Richard sent a message to the justices: “Tell the Court I love my wife and it is just not fair that I cannot live with her in Virginia.”

The justices unanimously agreed. On June 12, 1967, proscriptions against interracial marriage were declared unconstitutional.

In the years since, the couple’s victory has often been seen as a touchstone in the fight for black civil rights. The Lovings’ lawyer’s assertion before the court that anti-miscegenation statutes were “ the most odious of the segregation laws and the slavery laws” reinforced this assumption. As historian Peter Wallenstein aptly stated in his book Tell the Court I Love My Wife, “There was no doubt in anybody’s mind as to the racial identities, white and black, of the people who claimed to be Mr. and Mrs. Loving.”

But the Lovings’ public persona was more myth than reality. While researching my book That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia, I spoke to Mildred Loving, who died in 2008. “I am not black,” she told me during a 2004 interview. “I have no black ancestry. I am Indian-Rappahannock. I told the people so when they came to arrest me.”…

Read the entire article here.

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#myLovingDay: How the Lovings’ trials paved the way for today’s multiracial families

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-04 19:28Z by Steven

#myLovingDay: How the Lovings’ trials paved the way for today’s multiracial families

The Los Angeles Times
2016-06-03

Michelle Maltais


Mildred and Richard Loving, convicted in Virginia of marrying while interracial. (Associated Press)

I like to say that I am because of Loving. Mildred and Richard Loving.

In the early 1970s when my parents met, the only laws that really mattered in their relationship were the laws of attraction. But in 1958 when Mildred and Richard married, interracial marriage wasn’t just complicated, it was illegal. Since they couldn’t get married in their home state of Virginia (or 24 other states), they went to the District of Columbia and were wed on June 2, 1958…

…My own “Loving” story started in the early ’70s in Palm Desert, Calif. At that time, no one else in my neighborhood  —  or in my school —  looked like me. No one’s family looked like mine.

Was California in the early 1970s anything like the South of the ‘50s and ‘60s? Not at all…

Read the entire article here.

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Cannes: Interracial Marriage Drama ‘Loving’ Throws Hat in Oscar Ring

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-16 18:12Z by Steven

Cannes: Interracial Marriage Drama ‘Loving’ Throws Hat in Oscar Ring

The Hollywood Reporter
2016-05-16

Gregg Kilday

Director Jeff Nichols and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga make a strong first-impression as their new film about the landmark Supreme Court case is unveiled.

Loving, writer/director Jeff Nichols’ new film about Richard and Mildred Loving — the interracial couple whose 1958 marriage violated Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, which were eventually overturned by the Supreme Court’s landmark Loving vs. Virginia ruling in 1967 — held its first press screening Monday morning in Cannes. And it immediately made the case why the film has to be considered one of this year’s first major awards contenders.

Given the material, Nichols could have delivered a standard-issue courtroom drama, culminating with soaring oratory before the nation’s highest court. But he chose to take a different route — the American Civil Liberties Union, agreeing to take on the case, doesn’t enter the picture until more than half-way through the two-hour-three-minute movie. Instead, the film is centered around the Lovings themselves: Richard, played by Australian actor Joel Edgerton, and Mildred, played by the Ethiopia-born Ruth Negga

Read the entire article here.

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2017 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference Call for Papers

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-30 22:30Z by Steven

2017 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference Call for Papers

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
2017-02-24 through 2017-02-26

Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia

Deadline: 2016-04-30
Notification: 2016-07-31
Presenters at the conference must be members. Registration/membership will be available in 2016. Details below.
Subject Fields: We welcome submissions from scholars from all fields, cultural workers, and activists.

The next major Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference will be held February 24-26, 2017, at University of Southern California and will be hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. The conference will include film screenings and a live performance showcase produced by Mixed Roots Stories.

Download the CMRS 2017 Call For Papers [PDF]

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. As a commemoration to Loving’s golden anniversary coupled with the geographic location of California, this conference provides an excellent site to examine critical mixed race issues. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference aims to explore interracial encounters relating, but not limited to, transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, interracial marriage from a transregional perspective, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation.

The intersections of transmigration/national/regionalism with respect to miscegenation are clear in light of varying marriage proscriptions across geographical regions within the continental United States. California enacted its anti-miscegenation law in 1850, forbidding whites (this category included Mexicans) from marrying blacks, Filipinos, and Asians. Twelve states additionally prohibited intermarriage with Asians, nine prohibited intermarriage with Filipinos, and some prohibited intermarriage with American Indians. Intermarriage with “Hindus” was prohibited in Arizona. Oregon prohibited whites from marrying Native Hawaiians or Kanakas; and Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law forbade intermarriage with anyone of non-Caucasian strain. During Reconstruction, rampant fears of hypersexualized Chinese men marrying white women underscored the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Even following World War II soldiers faced dilemmas as Congress enacted restrictions regarding non-citizen wives entering the U.S that affected the mixed race children of these interracial unions whose occupancy within an interstitial racial space remains a confusing and complex reality in 21st century America. It was not until 1948 that anti-miscegenation laws were abolished in California.

As this conference commemorates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia with a focus on “Trans” issues relating to interracial encounters, participants from all fields are invited to present new insights, which will contribute to a broader and deeper understanding in Critical Mixed Race Studies

For more information, click here. Additional Questions? Contact us at: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com.

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First Look at Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘The Loving Story’ (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case)

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-11-23 19:16Z by Steven

First Look at Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘The Loving Story’ (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case)

Shadow and Act: On Cinema Of The African Diaspora
2015-11-20

Tambay A. Obenson


Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving, on the set of the movie “Loving,” being shot in Richmond, Va. (Ben Rothstein/Big Beach Films via AP)

Three years ago, director Nancy Buirski’s feature documentary, “The Loving Story,” was released. It follows the real-life story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in the state of Virginia where interracial coupling was illegal, and their struggles, including the US Supreme Court case named after them – Loving vs Virginia (1967); the landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, unconstitutional, overturning existing laws and bringing an official end to all race-based restrictions on marriage in the United States.

Persecuted by a local sheriff, the Lovings were found guilty of violating Virginia’s law against interracial marriage and forced to leave the state. But Mildred Loving chose to fight. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asking for help. He referred her to the ACLU and two young attorneys took the case.


Richard and Mildred Loving

In 1958, they went to Washington, D.C. – where interracial marriage was legal – to get married. But when they returned home, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s so-called Racial Integrity Act

Read the entire article here.

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Martha S. Jones – “The Children of Loving v. Virginia”

Posted in History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-11-22 18:39Z by Steven

Martha S. Jones – “The Children of Loving v. Virginia

Organization of American Historians
September 2015

An OAH Lecture by Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan

This lecture was presented as part of the Created Equal initiative at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, in September 2015. Recorded by the college’s Pulliam Fellow Videographer, Ian Mullen ‘16.

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Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-05-14 19:42Z by Steven

Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

The Washington Post
2014-05-14

Laura Vozzella, Richmond Bureau Reporter

RICHMONDVirginia has landed a movie project about Richard and Mildred Loving, the real-life Virginia couple arrested in 1958 for violating the state’s interracial marriage ban.

The Lovings filed a lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. The case is often invoked today amid legal challenges to bans on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced on Thursday that makers of the movie had chosen to shoot the project in the state. A statement from his office noted that the court case at the center of the story was “a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality that is still relevant today.”

Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia,” said McAuliffe, who supports same-sex marriage. “Attracting these projects to the Commonwealth helps build the new Virginia economy by generating new revenues, creating good-paying jobs for our citizens and continuing to highlight Virginia’s historical significance.”

The film will star Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, and will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols. It was inspired by “The Loving Story,” a documentary produced and directed by Nancy Buirski that aired on HBO, the governor’s office said…

Read the entire article here.

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Checking Boxes: A close look at mixed-race identity and the law

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-05 21:21Z by Steven

Checking Boxes: A close look at mixed-race identity and the law

Macomb County Leagal News
Mt. Clemens, Michgan
2015-02-05

Jenny Whalen, ‎Web Communications Specialist
School of Law
University of Michigan

Professor Martha S. Jones has long struggled with the idea of checking more than one box. Her reluctance to do so has been influenced by a lifetime of changing perceptions about her own identity. Born to an interracial couple a decade before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the legality of such a relationship in Loving v. Virginia, Jones, who co-directs the Program in Race, Law & History at U-M, crossed the color line at birth.

As the featured speaker for Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day lecture last month, Jones reflected on her mixed-race experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box of racial identity.

“Today I’m going to be asking myself, ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’” Jones said, looking to address the same question contemporaries of W.E.B. Du Bois asked him at the dawn of the 20th century.

For Jones, the answer to this question starts with Loving v. Virginia

Read the entire article here. View Professor Jones’ presentation here.

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The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-01-21 02:27Z by Steven

The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Special Lecture
University of Michigan
2015-01-19

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History
University of Michigan

University of Michigan Law School Prof. Martha S. Jones, who codirects the Program in Race, Law & History​, addresses her own experience as a mixed race woman and explores issues facing contemporary society as the featured speaker at Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 19, 2015.

Presenting “The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity,” Jones uses lived experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box.

View the video (00:37:05) here.

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Justice Alito’s Dissent in Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-11 00:40Z by Steven

Justice Alito’s Dissent in Loving v. Virginia

Boston College Law Review
Volume 55, Issue 5 (November 2014)
pages 1563-1611

Christopher R. Leslie, Chancellor’s Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine

In 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down miscegenation statutes, which criminalized interracial marriage, as unconstitutional. In 2013, the Court in United States v. Windsor invalidated Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which precluded federal agencies from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples even if the marriages were legally valid in the couples’ home state. While Loving was a unanimous decision, the Court in Windsor was closely divided. Almost half a century after Chief Justice Warren issued his unanimous Loving opinion, the Loving dissent has been written. Justice Alito authored it in Windsor. Justice Alito fashioned his dissent as upholding DOMA. But the rationales he employed were much more suited to the facts of Loving than the facts of Windsor. In this Article, Professor Leslie explains how each of Justice Alito’s reasons for upholding DOMA applies equally or more strongly to miscegenation laws at the time of the Loving opinion than to DOMA in 2013. There is simply no internally consistent way to defend DOMA with Justice Alito’s arguments without also upholding the constitutionality of miscegenation laws. Thus, Justice Alito not only authored a dissent for the Windsor case; he effectively wrote a dissent in Loving nearly 50 years after the case was decided. His reasoning would require the upholding of Virginia’s miscegenation statute. To the extent that the legal community now recognizes that the former anti-miscegenation regimes represent a shameful chapter of American history, the fact that the same arguments used to defend miscegenation laws are being invoked to justify bans on same-sex marriage suggests that such bans are inherently suspect and probably unconstitutional.

Read the entire article here.

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